Thursday, February 28, 2013

February's Farm Winterland

The other day I bundled up and made my way out into the snow to see if I could get some photos taken of the surrounding area.  My brain didn't realize it was only 5 degrees out until I returned and my husband proceeded to tell me!  But my legs felt it long before my brain knew it! :)

I hope you enjoy the scenery,
sometimes the pictures just do not do God's beauty justice! 
It was lovely out!

This the reason I went on a walk in the first place. To see
the sunrise. I have to walk 1/2 mile to see it. Lovely.

This one, where the glimmer from the sun is on the ice covered
trees, this picture doesn't do it justice. It was breathtaking. 

"Winter Rest" that is what I call his one.
I love its quietness.

Milton put these birdhouses out years ago around the township.
I'm glad he did.
See the glow, it made me walk alittle faster
so I wouldn't miss the sunrise.

I hope you have a warm and wonderful day!


PS: The photographer was injured while taking these!  Mental note: Wear a few pairs of heavy
socks when walking a long time in snow boots.  AKA blisters on outside of each ankle!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It Smells Like a Memory to Me!

When I was a kid I lived the first six years of my life (1970 to 1976) at a cattle feed yard.  

I can't believe how light colored my hair
was back in the day! :)

I was surrounded by not only family and cattle, but a few other things.  

Feed trucks - I've been told I cut my teeth on the hard plastic dashboards. I used to ride around with whomever was feeding that day.  My babysitters were cowboys and feedlot employees, grandparents, and siblings. I never stepped foot into a daycare until I had my own children.

Cowboys - They rode horses, they chewed tobacco, had bandanas around their necks, ropes to lasso with, and boots to kick your rear if you acted up!

Feed mill - My main memory from here is of me sitting on a counter, next to my Mom, watching her run the controls to load the feed trucks.  I recall drinking cold black coffee that had been left behind, at this young age.  Yep, I survived, but I do prefer it steaming hot now!

Cattle pens - where several head of cattle resided.  There was one about 30 feet from our house.  If the wind was out of the north, the aroma was... oh who am I kidding, the aroma of a feedyard is the same no matter the direction of the wind! Although, my grandfather used to say "that's the smell of money!"

Feedbunks - to be cleaned out ( I never had to do this, but my middle sister did, she hates that memory!)

When we lived here, the front porch was not enclosed & there were trees
 between the house and first cattle pen.
Water tanks - when they were frozen you had to go out and break it so the cattle had water to drink.

Manure - LOTS of it.

Flies - Where there's manure there is sure to be an ABUNDANCE of flies! Which also means, you have alot of black specks all over everything!

Those are few of the things from my childhood, but the best is yet to come.

It's funny when you hear a sound, or smell something that can take you back to a particular memory or time. Today I opened one of these.

I am not kidding when I tell you that it instantly brought a picture to mind of the feed yard!  

The picture of a blue pepsi  pop machine! This gem was in the "office"!

It didn't hold cans either, it held glass pop bottles!

Seriously, is there any better way to drink pop than from glass pop bottle?  

I don't think so. 

I can recall it very clearly, the blue machine, the wooden crates you would put your empty bottles in that sat next to it.  

(We never had pop in our house during my childhood, unless it was a rare special treat.  So that pop machine at the feedyard, it was pretty cool!)

A few other things that existed at the feedyard......

Scales - I used to think it was cool to stand on the scale outside the office, not sure why  Semi trucks would bring the cattle and they had to be weighed before unloading and then after too.

Feed bunks - I list it again because when I recall walking down the "roads" and running my hand on the bunks, it brings a good feeling to my soul.

Our yard - the house was built sort of into a hill and I recall running from the front down the side and and it was so fun! It was like the kitchen was in the basement the way it was built. 

People - There seem to always be people around.   A lot of them family, extended family and then just people that worked there, delivered cattle, feed, etc.  Although my grandfather wasn't by blood, all of the K's will always be family to me.  I felt like family with them and still do.

To begin life at a feedyard may seem odd to some, but to me it's a treasure. I believe I was placed in that area of the world, so I would know more for the world I am in today, 36 years later.

The Farm.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Celebrating Friends with a Rolo Inspiration!


Are you one of those people that has them in abundance or perhaps a few close knit ones?

Either way, you're friends, I am sure for various reasons, and if you are like me, when you get a text, email, facebook "like", or an actual call or card in the mail from one of them, it warms your heart.

I 'm just going to be honest here, I am lucky in the friend department.  I am blessed to all get out! I couldn't be more pleased! In fact in the past few months I have gained a few new ones from church and due to this blog some gals I plan to meet later this year face to face that I already consider friends!

Friendships are built on a foundation of respect and kindness I do believe.  Wouldn't you agree? Let's travel back for a moment!

Remember back to the first time you met one of your precious friends?  Shut your eyes and recall the beginning of the friendship. Awwww.... nice huh? Or maybe not... maybe you have a funny memory/story! I'd love to hear it! :) Feel free to share at the end!

One of my dearest and closest friends, (S) she thought I was a snob before she knew me.  We attended the same church, so saw one another weekly but didn' really know one another. We have a mutual friend, and about the time that friend was moving away, she introduced S & I.  In S's defense, back in those days, I didn't smile much. I smile A WHOLE lot more now! :)   S. would do anything for me, I know it.  In fact she has.  My point is, never turn away someone, even if you don't have a great first impression, it might just be one of the best things that entered your life. I'm pretty thankful for S & her choice to be my friend!

Let's look at another one of my friendships.  L.  She was a co-worker of days gone by, and we are pretty opposite I would say.  One of the best things about our relationship - (other than she doesn't judge me) - was the fact that we both love Rolos.  Yep, they were our saving grace on days at work that just called for alittle sweetness to be added to it!  Every time I eat a Rolo, I can' t help but think of my Wild & Crazy friend L!  (Sixlets were pretty good too ! :)

My freshman year of high school, my family moved from a town with a population of 600, to a high school of 600! Yep, now you know why I didn't smile much in my young adult life! :) Just kidding!  I sat down in physical science class & lucky for me LG was there!  We became friends and have been friends for more than 20 years.  She knows alot about me, I am hoping if she ever gets interrogated, she holds tight to the inner strength that I know she has, and doesn't release any of the goods on me! :)

Through church I have found three ladies I truly feel a connection with. I am not sure why it took so long to get here, but I am enjoying the "honeymoon" stage of becoming friends.  H, C, & J each are unique ladies and I find them all interesting.  Sometimes I feel like a giddy pre-teen when in their prescense, I try not to show it too much, I don't want to think I am wierd! :) Bible study has brought us together, and this I am thankful for!

Some of our friends are created within our family.  I have two sisters and although they are my blood, they are my friends as well.  Our relationships have grown to a place of goodness and I am lucky to call them both sisters and friends. Marrying my husband brought me sister - in- laws that I consider friends and am glad they are here, especially in the beginning of our marriage.  They have known my husband way longer than I, and are married to his brothers!!

There are friends that I don't see much anymore, but I still feel they are a kindred spirit within my life. They touched my life, and aided me in becoming part of who I am today.

MB, she and her house were home away from home when I was growing up. MS- this  individual is the one when you see her after a year or two, you just can't wait to receive her hug, it's full of warmth & her faith is ever present. MT - she allowed me to share in celebrating youth and taught me to see God in those youth. She has a calmness about her that I tend to relish in when in her prescense. JM - She's the one that can get you to talking about yourself and before you know it, 2 hours has passed! She is selfless and her son is going to marry my daughter some day, or so she says! :)

I can't list all my friends and how I am thankful for them in this blog post, but just writing this post has brought an idea to mind.  How about we write down each of our dear friends, write out a few kind words for them or about them.  Send them a copy in the mail, you know USPS!  If you need a notecard and stamp, I'd be happy to send you one or ten! :)  Just shoot me an email!

I think getting mail is one of the most refreshing ways of connecting! How about you?

You now what!? I'm going to dare you all!  Once a week, my online friends, send at least one card, to a friend letting them know how very precious they are to you.  Come back & comment, let me know how it went!! :) I can't wait to hear!

You never know, you might end up finding Rolos in YOUR mailbox if you do it!!

Thanks for stopping by!

* PS - this post was inspired by my friend "L".  She commented on my Facebook page and INSPIRED me! Thanks so much "L"!

After searching for pictures for this collage, I have decided..... beware my friends, I will be armed with a camera of some sort & getting more photos of us! I didn't have any of some of you! :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pizza Crust Recipe!

I made my way home in this cold winter weather to find 
my entertaining kitchen was being used!  
Guess who made dinner tonight!

Nope not this cutie!

But this handsome farmer!

He enjoys cooking, so during the winter, he usually helps out with dinner.
I recently bought this magazine and inside there were a few pizza recipes.  
Milton thought he'd try one out!
I  liked the magazine alot too!

(Recipe at end of post!)

Milton always cooks the crust about 6 minutes 
before loading it up with the "goodies"!
He always puts cornmeal on the pizza stone too.
(you can't see the stone, because he put it on a pizza pan this time)
 I enjoy THIN pizza crust the most. I am glad he made it like that tonight!

The recipe called for basil and garlic in the dough it was pretty tasty!

We each had our own little "sections" but all of the ingredients were yummy!
Ground beef, sausage, red onions, black olives, banana peppers, 
mushrooms, & mozzerella & parmesen cheese.

You can choose your own when you make it!
Ready to bake!

Fully cooked!

I thought I'd share what we had for dinner!
How about you?  
What was made in your Entertaining Kitchen tonight? :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Garlic & Herb Pizza Dough

1.5 Cups All purpose flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic, halved
1/4 tsp. olive oil
1/3 to 1/2 Cup wamr water (105-115 degrees)

In a food processor combine flour, yeast, basil, garlic clove and salt. cover and process for 10 seconds or until ingredients are combined.  Add olive oil.

With the machine running, pour only enough of the warm water through feed tube to form a ball of dough ( you may not need all the water). To kneed the dough, process 1 minute.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with a slightly damp towel and let rest 10 minutes.

*Milton used Ragu jar pizza sauce.  We used about 1/2 a jar, but next time will use 3/4 of a jar!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Time To Sell!

As I mentioned in this post, we started about a week ago to prepare for the feeder cattle to leave the farm.  One of the reasons we are needing to sell the cattle already is due to amount of silage remaining. You might recall from this blog post how we created the silage.

Remember when it was like this?

It now looks like this!

Just like any other business, in farming you evaluate the cost of expenses to profit. The decision to sell now was the best choice for us.  The price we gave for the cattle when we bought them, and when we sell them factors in as well.

We use a bonded livestock dealer, which means he finds the cattle for us, hauls them in on semi trucks, and then he sets it up when it is time to sell.  The person that my father - in- law uses is someone he has used for many years, probably close to 20 years.  A trusted businessman and also a friend no doubt. Our cattle come from all different places in the United States, but this year they came from Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

The semi trucks were to arrive last Thursday, but if you have seen the news at all, you know that we had a large winter storm about that time.  So they arrived on Saturday instead, which I didn't mind, because then I got to take photos!

Prior to the semi-trucks arriving at the farm, they stop at the local grain elevator to be weighed.  Then after they are loaded they are weighed again.  This tells us how much weight the cattle are, and when sold this is figured into things.

Headed down the highway  Dirt Road... new words to an old song!

OH! Short turn!

Backing up.......

Close quarters.... backing.... backing.....

That's good! Load'em up!

This is where I apologize, I didn't get any shots of the cattle being loaded into the truck. I didn't want to get in the way, and our semi farm truck was parked next to the corral.  So I headed over to the other side of the pens!

There were three semi trucks at our farm to load up the 193 head of cattle to be sold. This is number two, waiting his turn!  The other one was out on the road by house!

They were eating before they headed out!

The one on the left is my fatherinlaw, the one on the right is my husband!  It was pretty chilly Saturday morning!

So for now, we only have the two head of cattle we will butcher to feed our families in the next year, and a few "runts".  They will be sold later.

Let me know if you have any further questions!  My farmer and I would be happy to answer them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Family Valentine

Ever since the kids looked like this!

We have made it a tradition to take them out for dinner and movie for Valentine's in the month of February.  When life changes, so does the tradition.  For example, when PV was born we had 20 years difference between our oldest child and our youngest child, they didn't really have the same taste in movies! So we had to adjust how we did things.  We would all go to dinner, and then my lovely sister E. would usually offer to take her lovely little godchild home with her and spoil her for a few hours! Then came along our granddaughter and E. had another little bundle of joy to smother with some love for a few hours!

Well this year, we decided since we have kids in California (remember we are in Kansas folks),  and we wanted our oldest daughter's boyfriend and children to come, we would have a fun day at our house!  

By request of TKS, I made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and rolls.  Dessert was Sugar Cookie Bars, which you can find the recipe to here!  I must say it was GOOD comfort food and cheaper than taking all these individuals out to a fancy restaurant and movie!

With current technology we were able to skype with the California kids and had a BLAST playing battle of the sexes board game!

I am SO glad I took the next photo!  
Between Tashley's enormous smile, ES's crumpled cowboy hat, 
and the big guys playing the fishing game with the little girls, 
it's just AWESOME!

This one speaks for itself!

Family time is precious, and I am so glad we had the opportunity to be together!
February is a busy month for us with this activity and our upcoming dinner party (VVDDP)!
Throw Lent beginning and our normal family life, we might be happy to see March come! 

But I am very thankful my kids and their families came together on this day!
I pray you find some "love" in each one of your days!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sorting Cattle!

It is time for the feeder cattle to be sold, so come this Saturday they will be leaving the farm. We spent last Sunday seperating out the two that we will retain for butchering for our families beef, and a few others that are too small to sell at this time.

I was lucky enough to watch three generations literally work cattle.
 Although PV is only 4.5 years old, 
she did help just as the 46 year old, and the 84 year old did.  
It brings me back to the original reason I began this blog,
 to document a legacy in the making. 
 Our family story, to enjoy for years to come.

I'd like to share a few shots from the day!

Three generations working the farm!
Moving the feed bunk to another pen for the ones we will keep!

Hand in Hand, Daddy & Daughter!
Showing alittle leg ladies!
One generation teaching another what this item is used for!
Working together as a team!

Letting our "little calf" out of her pen! :)
Milton picking our beef!

I just love this little gal!

I got these boots many years before Milton came along in my life.
Yep, that's cow manure on them.
Yep, I'm happy.